Bitcoin is a divisive topic, with half of people believing its the future of all transactions, and half believing its a ‘fad’, a load of nonsense, and anyone using it is an idiot. Whatever you think, you can’t argue with its current value. Its certainly not been without fluctuations but 1 Bitcoin is currently (as of writing) valued at around £24,000 making some people sitting on a fortune, or nearly as we’ll see in these two million pound Bitcoin losses.
Two recent stories might make you rethink any foray into the world of crypto currencies. I’m not talking about hacking, or stealing, or any of the other scare stories you might hear about Bitcoin, but regular straightforward bad luck.
In case you’re not aware, Bitcoin is virtual currency. You can’t see it or touch it. It’s held in a virtual wallet, protected by a unique password. Like a code on the world’s strongest safe. Forget the password, and there’s no getting back in.
2 Guesses Left
First, predictably, we have a man who committed the ultimate sin of any tech/science/egghead/geek. He forgot the password.
To a wallet containing $240 million.
A man who can’t figure out his password to access his $240 million bitcoin says he’s “made peace” with the loss
The German born man living in San Francisco encrypted his wallet with software that gives you 10 attempts at unlocking with the right password, and then destroys it all after the tenth incorrect attempt. He has 2 guesses left having used up 8 of them trying to unlock his fortune.
Searching a landfill
What could been worse than the example above?
Imagine actually having the password to your Bitcoin fortune but having thrown away the hard drive where your wallet is stored.
That’s what happened to a man in Wales who accidentally threw away some old IT equipment, amongst which was a hard drive where he had stored his virtual wallet containing Bitcoin currently worth £210 million.
James Howells is desperately pleading with his local council to let him search the landfill where his hard drive would have ended up, even going as far as offering them a percentage of the value of the Bitcoins when found. Unfortunately the local council will not give him access
The council are refusing to hear him out any further despite increasing his offer from 10% to 25% of the value of the Bitcoin if they let him and a professional search team go in and search for the drive.
These examples of million pound BitCoin losses will hopefully make sure you take good care of all your passwords and store them securely and with backups!